Alvin Ailey Afternoon #sol16

My summer program had extra tickets to the annual Alvin Ailey performance. I didn’t hesitate when I replied, offering up a prayer that I could make it work with E.

Alvin Ailey REVELATIONS Fix Me Jesus
From Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations.” Photo from Alvin Ailey.org

I have always had a deep appreciation for the arts. I played the violin from fourth or fifth grade through the summer before college and was decent enough to make a few selective orchestras in high school. But I haven’t picked up my violin much since then, and I am frustrated enough when I have picked it up over the last few years that I haven’t continued. A part of me thinks it would be more than delightful to play a few tunes for E every now and then. I have a feeling that will compel me to try one more time. That experience being part of an orchestra nurtured my love for music, made me understand that notes played just right could bring a person to tears…

I felt that way this afternoon while watching Alvin Ailey. The human body is a magnificent instrument, and seeing the synergy of dancers and music found me on wiping my eyes several times. Prior to the performance starting, I fretted about E, given that he was little and chatty–a toddler, and I was bringing him along to yet another function that was not necessarily of his choosing. Yet, he was mesmerized, too. He noticed the lights, the colors, the “dancing,” and clapped along with the audience. I was amazed that the audience was so composed throughout…I couldn’t help tapping my feet, swaying, humming into the top of E’s hair. I have seen Ailey a few times and am stunned by Revelations; it’s as if I am seeing it for the first time at every experience. I think I’m moved on different levels, and they grow deeper as I get older.

What made it possible, too, was the two intermissions throughout the performance, making it okay to watch one act, then walk around, watch another, do something else, then exhale, exhale, exhale for the final act.

I’d like to make this an annual tradition, this taking E to Alvin Ailey whenever the company is in town. That can be our thing, to be moved, to have our souls healed, together.

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15 thoughts on “Alvin Ailey Afternoon #sol16

  1. I love your description of how it makes you feel – the dancing and the music. It’s beautiful. And I just wrote about my toddler niece – the connection just made me laugh. I love their joy, dancing and singing just because they feel it and they can. Beautiful slice!

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  2. So happy it went well, and I love this idea of attending Alvin Ailey dance performances into a family tradition for you and E! Maybe you and E can do violin lessons together too, hehe. Your phrasings are a joy to read, as always. The detail about you tapping, swaying, and humming along is just great. Next time you should just let it all out!

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  3. I love that your toddler loved the performance. I remember taking my son to the Nutcracker when he was three (now 21) and he was the worst he ever was. I’m glad you were able to enjoy the show and now have something to look forward to sharing with E whenever it comes in town.

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  4. What a great experience and new tradition to start with your child. I always tried to take my children to as many cultural events as I could when they were little. Now as adults they still appreciate the arts.

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  5. I’m so happy E enjoyed it! It would have made me nervous, too, so I’m glad that it all worked out. ALSO, I didn’t know you played violin! You should definitely pick it up — it doesn’t matter if it’s bad, I bet E will *looooove* seeing his mom play a music instrument!

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  6. Thank you for sharing. So glad you and E. enjoyed the mesmerizing performance. It seemed as if it were deeply moving. An annual tradition! Yes!
    E. will love to hear you playing the violin just for him.

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